Navigating a new job can be an exciting adventure but can also feel overwhelming and unclear; here are a few tangible tips to ensure a successful transition
Starting a new job is an exciting time for any professional — so many new opportunities and experiences to explore! As exciting as this life change may be, embarking on the right path in your new position can be daunting and unclear. While mistakes are a natural part of life, you’ll want to avoid common pitfalls in a new job. Although some may seem unavoidable, there are things you can do to avoid these common mistakes and increase your chances of success at your new job.
Start by considering these factors:
It is critically important to understand the culture of your workplace. Ideally, this awareness started during the interview process; however, this can become more refined once you start in the new role at your new organization by observing the dynamic between employees and employers. Understanding what drives the work, what motivates employees and managers, and how work is approached can help you to better understand how you fit into the company. Whether your workplace prioritizes a flexible, adaptable culture or an hierarchical organizational culture, is critical to know what success looks like, how performance is evaluated, and what levels of formality are appropriate in your workplace.
Professionalism is one area that many new employees get wrong. Showing up on time, being courteous of other team members’ time, addressing conversations politely, and working diligently are all important aspects of professionalism. Make a mental note of what professionalism appears like during your interview(s) to avoid a negative first impression. Since this can vary slightly between offices and departments, air on the side of being a bit too professional rather than unprofessional.
The attitude that you bring to your workplace is another critical component of succeeding at your new job. To make a positive and lasting impression on your new manager and team, approach your job with an open mind and an inquisitive interest in understanding your new colleagues’ workstyles. Don’t be the person who shows up to work tired and negative. Instead, reframe your attitude to appear friendly, approachable, and willing to pitch in where needed. Embrace the newness of your job and the exciting opportunities that you find yourself in with a smile and a positive can-do attitude.
What you wear to work can be a big indicator of your professionalism and dedication to the job. Dressing down in a formal office setting can leave you looking out of place and unmotivated. The reality is that you are being assessed in your new job daily, and dressing the part is an important piece of that. Since appropriate attire can vary significantly between industries and organizations, pay attention to what is the norm at your new job. If your office is formal, wear a suit, but if everyone wears jeans and button-down shirts, don’t show up in a full suit. Much like other factors of fitting in at your new job, you can assess quite a bit of the atmosphere of your new work through the interview. If you are truly unsure, you can ask before your first day what the expectation is about your attire so that you can physically fit in from the start.
Setting goals in a new job is a great way to demonstrate that you have a vision. These set milestones and checkpoints will also show when you have achieved success. Whether you evaluate yourself daily or monthly, tracking your progress and identifying areas where there is room for improvement will only benefit your performance and your skill-building. While your goals should be ambitious, ensure that they are specific, measurable, and attainable. By evaluating the job with your supervisor and setting appropriate goals for your growth and development, you can ensure that you will be a star employee in no time.
A new employee who shows initiative and effort speaks volumes to their character and work ethic. It is critical to put in substantial effort with a new job, as you only make a first impression once. While it should go without saying, you do not want to be the new person who everyone is questioning why you were hired. By stepping up to take initiative, you can show that you are motivated and excited to be a team player. While taking on new tasks, be careful not to step on toes as you learn the written or unwritten rules within the organization. Done right, effort and initiative are ways to make you stand out in a crowded field and garner you positive recognition.
Mentorship can be extremely beneficial to the development of your career. This is especially true when you step into a new position or company. To establish meaningful mentoring relationships, it is important to ask questions and seek help from those you look up to in your workplace. Take time to build connections with your bosses and coworkers and adopt habits that you would like to emulate in your own work. By creating these connections, you can better understand the nuances of your new organization. You also are creating an ally with someone who can help guide you along the way and hold you accountable to the goals you set for yourself.
Follow a few of these suggestions and you will be sure to thrive, bringing your best self to the job!
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